Hello it's Oskari "a great guy if personality and looks don't count" Vihervaara again! It's a good time to write after a long time! I have been enjoying life, sun, experiences, cultures and many other things for the past 5 months. Well, I arrived home little over month ago from Asia where I had the best time of my life in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia and Taiwan. Having experienced shattered dreams, corruption, poverty, magnificent nature, religions, history and broken but smiling people with nothing but great compassion in their eyes for life. Driving through 2 countrys with a motorbike, having spent a week in a jungle, learning new languages, meeting people I am now left with big peace of all this in my heart. But this is not a travel blog, although I had a little minigolf experience also in my last month of the trip... It is also topical since minigolf in Asia is growing fast!
After 2 months of traveling in Indonesia I got an idea inspired by all the diving teachers, surfing teachers, English teachers etc I met. I was inspired by their lifestyle of being able to do something that they enjoy and love doing and actually supporting their other passion, travelling, while doing that. So I asked a little bit could it be possible to teach minigolf? After about 6 weeks of sending emails back and forth to Taiwan I decided to change my course while I was in Cambodia; forget driving through Laos with my 150cc Lifan trailbike, head back to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, sell the bike and book a flight to Taipei, Taiwan. I was in for a 4 week job teaching minigolf on a small island of Kinmen, 1 hour flight from main island of Taiwan. Course was on the coast on a view distance from Xiamen, South of China. For this I had accomodation in a teacher dormatory for foreign English teachers supported by the local County Bureau, and I received a "X" amount of salary that would be more than enough to cover all my expences. I taught minigolf in the miniature course of Kinmen for university students, housewifes, local garden workers, grannies, mommies, pappies you name it. Beginners. Monday to Friday from 8AM to 4PM. In Taipei I met people of Taiwan minigolf Association and I received some Fun-Sports balls, we pumped the lanes so that we could play a shot on every lane with these 8 minigolf balls that were in the Fun-Sports set. Locals spoke very very VERY little if any English and my Chinese was limited to few phrases. Despite this language barrier the project, that turned into a more spontaneus execution than expected, we managed to do a lot of good. In my first blogpost I wrote in my Zen-fumes, that the mindset of Asian people is better for the sport then the western. Now I have concrete experience of this, and I have to say that the people I have taught in Finland are a pain in the ass compared to these! Taiwanese were humble and good listeners. Even beginners learned fast. And travelling this way was so much more different then moving from a place to place spending a week there and moving again as I did in countries before. Now I could also meet more locals, enjoy the hospitality and get a bigger picture for the areal culture and way of life.
I write this just to give an idea for all you readers of the possibilities that you can do as a minigolf player. For me this project gave a great amount of confidence that I can do this again. I can travel somewhere new and interesting place and teach minigolf and enjoy life. All these walls we think there is, don't really exist!
To slam the final nail to the board, season 2014 has now started. First round of Elitserien is behind, we got 9 points out of 14 from felt thanks for the rest of the team playing so good, and we we're really close beating Uppsala in the last round. If it wasn't for the guy here writing ruining the game on lane 17, we could be only 1 point behind Uppsala on the table with concrete being played next in our home course (which I have never played so far haha) in Stockholm. But it's ok. Their smiling faces gives me the fuel to burn! Again I feel once more I am motivated to work. Season 2014 has started!!!